While summer in England, my current country of residence, is a mixed bag of clouds, rain, fog, and the occasional 2 minutes of raging sun and heat that sets gingers aflame with its fury, it does give much needed time for reading and reflection. There are enough what you should read this summer posts to fill a Stephen King novel. If you want suggestions, go read one of those, like the one I link to above. If you need an incentive, read on.
So why should you read during your summer holidays, besides that you have the time, it’s quality entertainment, and it’s relaxing? Well… read on.
Note: Some of the following may not be entirely true. Or sane.
It Protects Your Eyes: While reading a book, you can use it in a variety of protective ways. You can shields your eyes from the sun, keep the wind off your face, shield unattractive people from your fragile sense of taste. Any number of dangers can be averted by merely holding a book in front of your eyes. Sitting still that is, while moving it remains a hazard.
It’s Emergency Exercise: Summer being a time for horizontal relaxation and Piña Colada tastings, a book can provide much needed exercise. Holding the book in front of your face (assuming it has sufficient weight) can increase upper body strength, and lugging around several in your holdall exercises key muscle groups in your back, shoulders and legs.
It’s a Barter Item: The number of people, who get robbed or swindled out of their hard earned vacation money, is notable. Any decent thief will however, leave your reading material alone, allowing you to stash cash in it. Or simply sell the item for cab fare to the embassy, trade it for delicious melon slices or other consumables. If the thief is indecent… Well, then you’re screwed. Potentially in several different ways.
It’s Defensive and Offensive Weaponry: This depends on the book and the situation, but a good hard-cover will function well as a bludgeoning tool, while any good heavy book could be used as a ranged weapon. Aiming for the nose is especially effective, though it might stain the pages. Also paper cuts will eventually take down a foe. I’m guessing at around one thousand cuts. This should also work with books that are not so good.
To Initiate First Contact: Whether it’s that cute guy/girl in the corner, or an intergalactic race of aliens, first contact is always a bit difficult. It could go any number of ways and the wrong opening could make you look like weirdo, or cause the extinction of the entire human race as they glass the planet with plasma in retaliation to your crude non-literary advances. Not so with a book! Not only are you carrying around the perfect conversation starter, gift idea, “leave accidentally behind” item, and a representation of Earth’s literary tradition, you’re using the greatest aphrodisiac know to man: your well-read mind.
But what do your think? Let me know. And now, if you will excuse me, I will be mixing a fresh Piña Colada and blocking out the locals with my Kindle.
Have a great summer!
And all images are by Andrea Palfi. Click em to go to her stuff.